WHAT'S YOUR NUMBER?: Chris Pratt as Disgusting Donald

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Chris Pratt as the overweight character "Disgusting Donald" from the feature film "What's Your Number," also starring Anna Farris and Chris Evans.

(Seen both "before" and "after" his character's weight loss in this Behind the Scenes featurette.)


LOS ANGELES TIMES | ENTERTAINMENT: "Shallow Hal" Fat Suit Not Just Skin-Deep

'Shallow Hal' Fat Suit Not Just Skin-Deep

Even behind the scenes, Gwyneth Paltrow's form-fitting costume takes on a larger meaning.

November 07, 2001|ANDRE CHAUTARD | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Audiences have come to expect the outrageous from the Farrelly brothers, the directing duo behind the gross-out gags of "There's Something About Mary." But their new comedy, "Shallow Hal," offers perhaps the most shocking sight of all: famously svelte Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow emoting while encased in a fat suit.

In the 20th Century Fox film, which opens Friday, the looks-obsessed title character, played by "High Fidelity's" Jack Black, receives the ability to see women's exteriors reflect their inner beauty. Thus he sees Paltrow's good-hearted Rosemary as the actress' 120-pound self, while others see Rosemary in all her 350-pound girth.

The challenge of making Paltrow recognizable through the prosthetic makeup, wig and layers of foam and spandex fell to makeup-effects designer Tony Gardner. "No one had really taken a woman in a [fat] suit this far before," Gardner says.

Beginning with a body cast of Paltrow, the makeup effects team took three months to perfect the heavy makeup and construct her form-fitting suit, which actually weighed only about 25 pounds. Working on someone as thin as Paltrow was a plus, because her body formed a very solid, non-flabby understructure. The makeup was more difficult because Gardner had to preserve her most distinctive facial features, her cheekbones and jawline.

"It's a weird Catch-22," Gardner says, "because you need for people to see her enough to know that it's her, but you need to bury her in it successfully enough so that it moves realistically."

Paltrow's suit needed to be designed for mobility as well as form; ultimately, Gardner had multiple suits built at his Los Angeles shop to simulate how weight shifted when she was sitting, standing and running. The suits were built in pieces: an upper body that zips up the spine and a lower half, from the 48-inch waist to the kneecaps, that zips up the front like a pair of pants. In addition, there were separate pieces for each calf and gloves for her hands made of silicone. (The prostheses were built by Artist's Asylum.)The first time Paltrow saw herself in the full suit and makeup, at a test in a New York hotel room before filming began, she was overwhelmed. "I had a thousand emotions. I was laughing and crying, and I was shocked and loved it," she says. "It was very intense."

TO GO TO THE FULL ARTICLE - CLICK HERE

 


FILM COMMENT: HOLY COW! Serious Fun with Jim Carrey and the Farrellys

FILM COMMENT Magazine cover for "Me, Myself & Irene" article.


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: The Independent film "Robot and Frank," featuring Alterian, Inc.

The World of Tomorrow on the Tiny Budget of Today

To create a world set in the “near future” on an independent filmmaker’s budget, director Jake Schreier made some creative decisions while shooting his robot buddy caper “Robot & Frank.” The film debuted this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.

Instead of setting his film, which stars Frank Langella as a former jewel thief, in the city, Mr. Schreier opted for a rural backdrop to avoid having to showcase too many urban technological developments. He also called in favors from friends at special effects houses to design, for free, “Minority Report”-like cell phones with clear swipable screens.

To portray the robot of the title, Mr. Schreier hired Los Angeles-based special effects studio Alterian Effects, which also created the fat suits for movies like “Shallow Hal” and “Hairspray,” to build a white, plastic suit that allowed its wearer room for movement.

“We were looking for something that was achievable but would also look realistic and grab people,” he says.

Mr. Schreier also had Alterian built the suit specifically for a petite-sized friend, who was to play the robot until a claustrophobia attack in the suit forced her to drop out of the movie two days before the start of production. Luckily, the filmmakers were able to quickly find a similarly-sized substitute — the freelance dancer Rachel Ma — to replace her.

TO GO TO THE FULL ARTICLE - CLICK HERE

Robot & Frank 2 - edited


THE INDEPENDENT: (UK) Featuring Alterian, Inc. & Tony Gardner

THE CINEMA SPECIAL EFFECTS THAT ARE SAVING REAL LIVES

Tony Gardner won fame making realistic bodies for Hollywood. Now he makes them to train medics.

(Click on the images below to see full article)


STUDIO BRIEFING: A DAILY DIGEST OF ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY NEWS

SPECIAL EFFECTS WIZ TEAMS WITH MEDICAL INSTRUCTOR

Film News From Studio Briefing

SPECIAL EFFECTS WIZ TEAMS WITH MEDICAL INSTRUCTOR
SPECIAL EFFECTS WIZ TEAMS WITH MEDICAL INSTRUCTOR

CINEFANTASTIQUE: THE TOMMYKNOCKERS

Alterian Studios goes down under to create Stephen King's Boogeymen from Outer Space.